Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Read an excerpt from 'College for Convicts' by Christopher Zoukis

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CFC book cover, Zoukis_978-0-7864-9533-7The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world's population, yet incarcerates about 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Examining a wealth of studies by researchers and correctional professionals, and the experience of educators, this book shows recidivism rates drop in direct correlation with the amount of education prisoners receive, and the rate drops dramatically with each additional level of education attained.

Presenting a workable solution to America's mass incarceration and recidivism problems, this book demonstrates that great fiscal benefits arise when modest sums are spent educating prisoners. Educating prisoners brings a reduction in crime and social disruption, reduced domestic spending and a rise in quality of life.

Read an excerpt:
I was born in 1986 and grew up in a wealthy, professional home where I was loved, provided for, and sent to very good schools. Despite all these advantages, I made bad decisions. I lived in a haze of alcohol and drugs, the fast lane, the “fun” lane. Most of my relationships were toxic, but I couldn’t see it.

My parents cared deeply and tried everything to change the destructive path I was on, including expensive drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation centers, but I was oblivious to their love, sacrifice, and concern. I continued to live, lost in a wasteland of selfishness.

So here I am, in prison since high school. And it’s no one’s fault but my own.

Before my arrest, I had made a lot of stupid, drug-fueled choices, and I dropped out of school when my troubles with the law began. At that time, I was too drugged to give education a thought. But once incarcerated and surrounded by people who did bad things, really bad and evil things, people who didn’t have the opportunities I had been given, I knew I had hit the bottom of the barrel. I had to find a way up and out.

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About the author:

czChristopher Zoukis is an impassioned advocate for prison education, a legal scholar, and a prolific writer of books, book reviews, and articles. His articles on prison education and prison law appear frequently in Prison Legal News, and have been published in The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, Blog Critics, Huffington Post and Midwest Book Review, among other national, regional, and specialty publications.

Mr. Zoukis is often quoted on matters concerning prison law, criminal law, prisoners' rights, and prison education. Recently, he was the focus of an article at Salon.com concerning America's broken criminal justice system and potential solutions to the current crisis.

When not in the thick of the battle for prison reform, prison education, or prisoners' rights advocacy, Mr. Zoukis can be found blogging at PrisonLawBlog.com, PrisonEducation.com, and ChristopherZoukis.com.

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